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Dietrich Buxtehude – Christian Geist – Nicolas Bruhns – Franz Tunder – Kaspar F?rster
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 347 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 180 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical, Baroque | Label: Dacapo | # 6.220634 | Time: 01:15:31
Dietrich Buxtehude was not only the greatest organ virtuoso of his time and a celebrated composer of both sacred and secular music; he was also a highly enterprising and innovative artist with a unique ability to form networks around himself. This CD, conceived by Theatre of Voices and Paul Hillier, gives a rare insight into the circle around Buxtehude – a musical circle of time, place, friendships, teacher-pupil relationships and even family ties; a network of excellent composers from northern German musician families, all of whom worked in or migrated to Scandinavia in the course of the 1600s.
This recording owes at least something to a concert I heard in Copenhagen when I was there for the annual Renaissance Festival as the organiser’s guest, since I had suggested that they celebrate the 300th anniversary of the death of Christian Geist, who had lived, worked and died in that city. The programme is not quite the same, but there are still two works by Geist on offer: His setting of Dixit Dominus (by using the Erbe Deutscher Musik edition, they missed out a whole passage of tenor part that had slipped the editor’s notice!) and his “affective” Die mit Tr?nen s?en. Buxtehude similarly is represented by two works: His Gott, hilf mir and Jesu, meine Freude are both rightfully well known and their influence on the young J. S. Bach is undeniable! His father-in-law Tunder’s Dominus illuminatio mea is an impressive piece, indeed, while Bruhns’ bass tour de force, a virtuoso setting of De profundis clamavi, is no less so, and Kaspar F?rster (the younger)’s Confitebor tibi Domini brings a wonderful survey of music with which Buxtehude was most likely familiar to a rousing close. Throughout the singing and playing are of the highest order, and the solo bass also contributes a fine booklet essay, tying all the composers together in a readable narrative. The sung texts are translated into English only, which I don’t suppose will pose much of a problem from the majority of Danes – I wonder how successful it would be the other way around!
Paul Hillier and his Theatre Voices explore the circle of church organists and composers in northern Germany and the Baltic region that were all linked in some way to Buxtehude. One of his possible teachers in Copenhagen was the Danish court kapellmeister Kasper F?rster, whose psalm Confitebor tibi Domine, offers a hint of what the composer might have learnt in Rome from Carissimi. Another og Buxtehude’s probable teachers was the organist Johann Lorentz, whose successor Christian Geist is represented by the paradoxical mood of sensuality and mournfulness in Die mit Tr?nen s?en. In 1668 Buxtehude succeeded the recently deceased Frans Tunder as kantor at the Marienkirche in L?beck (and the new organist married his predecessor’s daughter), and Tunder’s Dominus illuminatio mea is given a lightly intimate performance.
One of Buxtehude’s pupils was Nicolaus Bruhns, whose magnificent De profundis clamavi for solo bass is sung with ardent gravitas and virtuosity by Jakob Bloch Jespersen, and the violin ritornellos are played exquisitely by Jesenka Balic Zunic and Karoline Radziej. Buxtehude’s own chorale-based trio setting of Jesu, meine Freude is sung and played beautifully. Gott, hilf mir is conceived on a more elaborate scale; its five-part vocal ensemble and five-part strings convey the emotional weight of the penitential cry for God to save the suffering soul, and Hillier’s lovely performance is on a par with the very finest that the Buxtehude discography has to offer.
Christian Geist (c. 1650-1711)
01. Dixit Dominus Domino meo (5:49)
Dietrich Buxtehude (c. 1637-1707)
02. Jesu meine Freude, BuxWV 60 (11:28)
Nicolas Bruhns (1665-1697)
03. De profundis clamavi (11:55)
Franz Tunder (1614-1667)
04. Dominus illuminatio mea (9:05)
05. Die mit Tr?nen s?en (10:01)
06. Dietrich Buxtehude: Gott hilf mir, BuxWV 34 (15:45)
Kaspar F?rster (1616-1673)
07. Confitebor tibi Domine (11:28)
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